Author Kat Lieu shows us how to make a trio of the easy, delicious Asian desserts that have earned her a dedicated following online.

Mochi and Macha
© 2022 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2022 Kathleen Lieu Photography © 2022 Nicole Soper Photography

Picture This: You’re in a hurry to get to a gathering, maybe a backyard barbecue or wine night with friends, when you realize you’re going to arrive empty-handed. You forgot to make dessert.

There’s a simple and delicious solution to this last-minute emergency: colorful microwavable mochi from popular online baker Kat Lieu—and it only requires seven ingredients you may already have on hand

The recipe is just one of various sweet and savory treats in Lieu’s cookbook, Modern Asian Baking at Home: Essential Sweet and Savory Recipes for Milk Bread, Mochi, Mooncakes, and More. From velvety chocolates inspired by the nama (or “fresh”) chocolates from Japanese brand Royce to berry-matcha cream bars, it’s a “straight-from-the-heart collection of recipes” that Lieu encourages readers to “steam, fry, boil, and bake” their way through.

Kat Lieu and Son
Kat Lieu with her son

© 2022 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2022 Kathleen Lieu Photography © 2022 Jake Young

The desserts are a mix of original creations and inspired adaptations from members of the online community that Lieu founded, Subtle Asian Baking. (You can find it on Facebook or on Instagram @subtleasian.baking.) “I saw a need for an online community where beginner and experienced home bakers could share, search for, and obsess over Asian baking,” Lieu writes in the book’s introduction. “I knew I had to build this community, one that would bridge cultures and help people collaborate, innovate, learn, and get instant inspiration.” 

Launched in 2020, the group saw more than 100,000 members across the globe join its Facebook page in less than a year, according to Lieu. “Members have curated and shared thousands of essential Asian sweet and savory baking recipes, along with countless heartwarming stories,” she adds. To taste what it’s all about, try your hand at these sweet and simple recipes. 

Delicious Asian Desserts to Make at Home:

If You Want a Second Helping

Modern Asian Baking Cover

© 2022 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2022 Kathleen Lieu Photography © 2022 Nicole Soper Photography

For more great recipes, pick up a copy of Modern Asian Baking at Home: Essential Sweet and Savory Recipes for Milk Bread, Mochi, Mooncakes, and More ($25, Quarry Books) at your local independent bookseller. 


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